Name: Mikayla Flanagan

Program: Valpo Study Center in Cambridge, England

Location: Rome, Italy

Mikayla in front of the Trevi Fountain

My name is Mikayla Flanagan and I studied in Cambridge, England this past Spring. I am a sociology major with a criminology concentration as well as a political science minor. I will be a senior this fall and am planning on graduating next Spring! I have always wanted to study abroad since I was in high school and when I heard of this opportunity, I took it immediately. This would be my chance to see Europe for the first time and this would be the only time I would be a student in a different country with this type of opportunity. All of the trips I have been on have meant so much to me and it is difficult to just choose one. One of my favorite places I visited was Rome, Italy.

Pasta that Mikayla made in Rome.

I have always wanted to go to Rome, and I was able to go during my final days in Europe. It was such a surreal moment walking around the city of Rome because everywhere you turn there is a piece of history waiting to be seen. There are fountains, churches, ruins, and pieces of buildings that have seen so much history. The streets themselves are a piece of history when thinking about all of the people who have walked down them. I took a pasta-making class because what better place in the world to learn how to make pasta than Italy! 


When visiting Rome, I was able to see the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Colosseum. The Vatican Museums showed so many beautiful pieces of art, and seeing with my own eyes Michaelangelo’s Last Judgment and Creation of Adam was something I will remember forever. Since you are not allowed to take photos in the Sistine Chapel, I ingrained those pieces of art into my memory. The Colosseum was unreal since it has such a rich history. Walking around the ruins where emperors and citizens alike watched gladiators fight was something I never thought I would get to experience. Being in a place where history is so rich and has been preserved for so many years was incredible.

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

Studying abroad has been one of the best choices I have made. I have learned so much about myself as well as the world around me. There is so much to see, and it is at our fingertips! It is an experience of a lifetime no matter where you go. The sights you see and the cultures you learn first-hand are something that cannot be matched. Studying abroad is such a unique experience, and I recommend it to whoever is able to do it!